NEW ORLEANS — Many neighbors in the New Orleans area are still recovering from Hurricane Ida, last year.
They are praying that the new storm now threatening the Gulf Coast will not bring even more damage to their homes.
A superhero is now coming to the rescue of families with roof damage in the Seventh Ward and beyond.
“Captain America” actor Anthony Mackie didn’t bring his shield but showed his skill with a nail gun on top of William Evan’s home on North Johnson Street.
The Marvel Studios star was part of the crew installing a new roof on the storm-damaged house.
“To be able to show up and help somebody with the basic foundation of their home is very important,” Mackie said.
Evans, a 90-year-old Korean War veteran and his daughter Redell Warren were excited to meet Mackie.
“He was up there too with the guys on the roof and everything,” Warren said. “I knew the face then I said I know that face. My grandson, he’s 14, he watches the movies and he said that’s the man from Marvels, the hero, you know.”
The award-winning actor is proud of his roots.
“I always tell people I was born in the Seventh Ward,” Mackie said. “I grew up in the Seventh Ward and I’ll die in the Seventh Ward. Right now, I live in the Seventh Ward.”
Mackie’s father was also a roofer in the Seventh Ward.
“There were many people in our neighborhood, he would go to their houses on the weekend and do some patchwork on the old lady on the corner’s roof because he saw that some of the shingles were not right,” he said.
Mackie is teaming up with roofing manufacturer GAF and Rebuilding Together New Orleans to repair and replace 500 roofs throughout the Gulf Region, starting with 150 in the Seventh Ward.
“If you can’t have a dry roof, you can’t have a dry place to live, that causes pests, termites other damage and decay,” Rebuilding Together Executive Director William Stoudt said. “We know we have to start from the top down. Replace as many roofs as we can.”
Redell Warren says the partnership not only put a new roof on her father’s home, but they also replaced hers as well.
“It just makes you know you can go on with the next thing. You know what I’m saying. You got that done and whatever next is going to come, you’re feeling okay about it.”
Mackie said helping to rebuild his hometown gives him a sense of pride.
“That’s why I was so moved by and so excited to be a part of, giving back to the community the way that my dad raised me to and that was on the roof.”
In addition to repairing roofs, GAF is also teaching roofing skills to workers in the New Orleans area.
For more information about the new roof replacement program or to see if you qualify, visit the Rebuilding Together New Orleans website or call 504-264-1815.